The Working Family Crisis: Why investing in working families can’t wait
Companies that invest in supporting working parents and caregivers can benefit from increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and reduced turnover rates.
It’s no secret that the modern working world—through the core of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond—has placed significant demands on individuals and families.
Juggling work and family responsibilities has become increasingly difficult, leading to what many are calling a working family crisis. It’s obvious that this crisis has far-reaching effects on employees, but more and more companies are beginning to realize the toll that it takes on employers—and their bottom lines—as well.
73% of the workforce are caregivers in some capacity.Harvard Business Review, April 2022
It’s beyond time for companies to invest in supporting working families.
The working family crisis is not limited to one demographic or industry. A vast majority of the workforce, even if they’re not currently parents or planning to become parents, could potentially become caregivers for aging adults or other family members.
This crisis of resources and support for caregivers affects everyone from entry-level employees to senior executives, and it spans all sectors, from tech to food & beverage, from life sciences to finance. Parents and caregivers are struggling to find the time and resources to care for their children or family members while maintaining a demanding work schedule, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. Many companies have long overlooked the need for family support programs.
If a company doesn’t invest in working parents and caregivers:
Employees “phone it in.”
The stress of balancing work life and family life—essentially being both a full-time caregiver and a full-time employee—can cause employees to do a less-than-stellar job at their workplace, if they don’t have the right support.
Companies can invest in supporting working families by offering flexible work schedules, paid parental leave, and support for eldercare that allow parents to balance work and family responsibilities. These policies can have a significant impact on job satisfaction and balance, ensuring that employees have the capacity to deliver at work.
Employees burn out.
When needs outside of work are not met, the stress bleeds over into work—and employees take a major hit to their mental health. When that happens, employees burn out.
Companies that invest in mental health resources for their employees can see a significant improvement in productivity and employee retention. Offering mental health resources, such as counseling or therapy, can help employees cope with the stresses of balancing work and family responsibilities.
The worst-case scenario, of course, is having an employee quit. Not only is the cost of rehiring a huge hit to a company’s bottom line, but the cost of training a new employee, the loss of time invested in an employee, and the hit to team morale is just not worth it.
Ensuring that working parents and caregivers are able to raise their hand and let employers know what they need before it becomes an issue. Investing in family benefits is a way to be sure that your employees know that they have your support.
Prospective employees won’t want to work for your company.
Top companies are always looking for ways to attract top talent. With an ever-increasing population of workers who are caregivers in some capacity, prospective employees are going to be looking for more benefits from your company than just standard health and dental.
Offering family benefits—not only for dependents who are children, but for eldercare, as well—is a key differentiator for companies looking to source top tier talent. A recognition that key employees also have key responsibilities outside of work will supply your inbox with resumes for years to come.
The working family crisis is a significant issue that affects both employees and employers. Companies that invest in supporting working parents and caregivers can benefit from increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and reduced turnover rates. By offering family-friendly policies such as child care support, paid parental leave, flexible work arrangements, eldercare support, and mental health resources, companies can make a positive impact on the lives of their employees and their families—and improve their bottom line at the same time.
Join us in taking action and investing in supporting working parents and caregivers. Get in touch today.